Summer is the perfect time to fire up the grill and enjoy some fresh, flavorful food in the great outdoors. And what’s more iconic than perfectly grilled corn on the cob? It’s a staple of summer barbeques and picnics, and with a little creativity, you can take this classic dish to the next level. Whether you prefer your corn smoky and charred or sweet and buttery, we’ve got some tips to help you achieve the perfect grilled corn on the cob every time.
Why Grill Corn on the Cob?
Corn on the cob is a summertime staple, and there are several ways to prepare it. Boiling or baking may be the first methods that come to mind, but have you ever tried grilling corn on the cob? If not, you’re missing out on several advantages that grilling offers.
Grilling corn on the cob enhances its natural sweetness and gives it a smoky, grilled flavor. This method caramelizes the natural sugars in the corn and creates a crispy, charred exterior that contrasts the juicy sweetness inside. Plus, the grill marks add a great visual appeal.
Convenient and Versatile
Grilling corn on the cob provides an easy and convenient way to cook for a large crowd. You can grill a dozen or more ears of corn at once, allowing everyone to enjoy this summertime favorite at the same time. Plus, grilled corn can be served as a side dish or as a main course with a variety of toppings and seasonings, making it a versatile dish to prepare.
When you boil or bake corn on the cob, some of the nutrients can leach out into the cooking water. Grilling corn helps to preserve these nutrients by cooking the corn in its own juices and minimizing the amount lost to cooking water.
Less Mess and Cleanup
Boiling corn on the cob requires a large pot of boiling water, which can create steam and a lot of heat in your kitchen. Plus, there’s the mess of trying to remove hot ears of corn from the boiling water. Grilling corn on the cob eliminates the need for a large pot of boiling water and the mess of trying to fish out the cooked corn. Simply husk, brush with butter, and place on the grill.
Choosing the Best Corn
When it comes to grilling corn on the cob, selecting the best corn is essential in ensuring a delicious meal. Here are a few tips for choosing the perfect corn:
Look for Freshness
Freshness is key when it comes to selecting corn for grilling. Choose ears of corn that have bright green husks that are tightly wrapped around the cob. The silk should also be slightly sticky, which is a sign of freshness. Avoid ears of corn that have brown or dry husks with silks that are yellow or brown.
Check for Juiciness
When selecting corn for grilling, you want ears that are juicy and sweet. To check for juiciness, gently press your fingernail into a kernel. If a milky liquid comes out, then the corn is juicy and ready for grilling. Avoid ears of corn that have shriveled kernels or feel light for their size.
Corn is at its peak during the summer months, which is when you’ll find the freshest and juiciest ears. If you’re grilling corn during the off-season, look for frozen corn or canned corn that’s been packed at its peak to ensure the best quality.
Preparing Corn for Grilling
Corn on the cob is a classic summertime treat that almost everyone loves. Grilling corn on the cob is an excellent way to bring out its natural sweetness, add smoky and charred flavor, and improve the overall texture. Before throwing it on the grill, there are a few things you need to do to prepare the corn properly to ensure perfect grilling results. Here are the best practices for husking, silking, and cleaning corn before placing it on the grill, including some helpful shortcuts.
Husking and Silking
The first step in preparing corn for grilling is de-husking and removing the silks. Husks are the green leaves surrounding the corn that protect it from insects, moisture, and heat. Silks are thin, wispy fibers that stick to the kernels and run longitudinally along the length of the cob. Follow these simple steps to husk and silk the corn:
- Peel off the outer leaves gently: Start at the top of the ear and peel downwards, removing any brown or yellow leaves. Don’t pluck them as it can damage the delicate corn.
- Remove the silk: Hold the corn at the top and pull down the fine silk strands with your other hand. A handy tip is to use a soft-bristled brush (like a clean toothbrush) to remove any remaining silk.
- Trim the stem end: Cut off the stem end to close the exposed tip of the cob, which can prevent it from drying out or burning on the grill.
Cleaning corn before grilling removes any excess dirt or debris that may have stuck to the cob. Here’s how to clean your corn:
- Rinse the corn: Place the corn under cold running water and wash it gently by rubbing your fingers over each cob.
- Dry it off: Wipe the corn cobs with a kitchen towel or paper towel to remove any excess water. A dry cob is easier to grill than a wet one.
Additional Note: You can also add extra flavor to the corn by using seasonings or spices like salt, pepper, garlic powder, or chili powder. Simply spray cooking oil on the kernels very lightly and sprinkle the seasoning evenly around the cob. Wrap ears individually in aluminum foil.
Creative Grilling Techniques
Grilling corn on the cob is a summertime tradition that never gets old. But instead of sticking to the same old plain grilled corn, why not try something new and exciting? Here are some creative grilling techniques to take your corn on the cob to the next level:
Add Unique Seasonings
Instead of just using salt and butter, try using unique seasonings to add a burst of flavor to your grilled corn. Some popular options include chili powder, cumin, garlic, and smoked paprika. You can even make your own seasoning blend by combining your favorite herbs and spices.
Wrap It in Bacon
Bacon-wrapped corn on the cob is a surefire crowd-pleaser at any backyard barbecue. Simply wrap a strip of bacon around the ear of corn and secure it with a toothpick. Grill the corn as normal until the bacon is crispy and cooked through.
Use a Smoker
If you really want to step up your grilling game, try using a smoker to add a smoky flavor to your corn on the cob. Soak the corn in water for a few hours before grilling to keep it from drying out, then place it in the smoker for 30-45 minutes. This will give the corn a delicious smoky flavor that you won’t be able to resist.
Get Creative with Toppings
Don’t be afraid to get a little wild with your corn on the cob toppings. Some popular options include crumbled feta cheese, diced jalapenos, chopped cilantro, and even crushed up hot Cheetos. The possibilities are endless!
Grilling Accessories and Tools
If you’re looking to grill the perfect corn on the cob, having the right accessories and tools can make all the difference. Here are some must-have items for creating delicious grilled corn:
Skewers are essential for grilling corn on the cob. Not only do they help keep the corn from rolling around on the grill, but they also allow the corn to cook evenly on all sides. When using skewers, be sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling to prevent them from burning.
2. Grill Baskets
Grill baskets are another handy tool for cooking corn on the cob. With a grill basket, you can easily flip and move the corn without worrying about it falling between the grates. Look for a basket with a handle to make it easy to transport the corn from the grill to the table.
3. Corn Holders
Corn holders are a fun and practical accessory for serving grilled corn on the cob. They keep your hands clean and help prevent the corn from rolling around on your plate. Opt for holders with sturdy prongs that can easily grip the corn.
4. Basting Brush
A basting brush is useful for brushing the corn with butter or oil while it grills. This not only adds flavor but also helps keep the corn moist. Look for a brush with heat-resistant bristles, such as silicone.
5. Instant-Read Thermometer
While not strictly necessary, an instant-read thermometer can be a helpful tool for ensuring your grilled corn is cooked to perfection. The ideal temperature for grilled corn is between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and the corn should be cooked for around 15 to 20 minutes. Use the thermometer to check the temperature of the corn to ensure it is fully cooked.
With these essential tools, you’ll be able to create perfectly grilled corn on the cob that’s sure to impress your family and friends!
Serving and Enjoying Grilled Corn on the Cob
Grilled sweet corn on the cob is a classic summer staple that never goes out of style. It’s versatile, easy to make, and goes perfectly with many meals. Here are some ideas on how to serve and enjoy grilled corn on the cob.
Classic Butter and Salt
You can’t go wrong with the classic butter and salt on your grilled corn on the cob. Once you’ve grilled your corn, slather it with butter and sprinkle some salt on it. It’s straightforward, but it never disappoints.
If you want to spice up your grilled corn on the cob a little bit, flavored butters are a great option. You can prepare them at home or purchase them from a store. Flavors like garlic-parmesan, honey-lime, and herb-butter are just a few of the endless possibilities.
Get creative with your toppings! Grilled corn on the cob tastes amazing when topped with crumbled cheese, such as feta or cotija. Other topping ideas include bacon bits, chopped herbs, or roasted peppers. Go ahead and experiment with different flavors to find your perfect combination.
Pairing with Other Grilled Dishes
Grilled corn on the cob pairs perfectly with other grilled dishes like steaks, chicken, or vegetables. You can also cut the corn kernels off the cob and mix them with black beans, tomatoes, and avocado to create a grilled corn salsa that goes well with chips or as a topping for salads.
Grilled Corn Salad
Transform your grilled corn on the cob into a salad. Cut the kernels off the cob and mix them with diced tomatoes, diced red onions, chopped cilantro, and crumbled queso fresco. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice and mix well. This is a perfect side dish for a summer barbecue.
Corn on the cob with Chilli-Lime Mayo
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to add flavor to your grilled corn, try tangy chilli-lime mayo. Mix mayonnaise, chilli powder and lime juice, and brush it generously onto the corn after grilling. For extra texture, sprinkle crumbled feta cheese and chopped fresh cilantro on top.
Thank You for Reading!
Itâ€™s time to fire up the grill and start enjoying some delicious grilled corn on the cob! Remember to experiment with different flavors and seasonings to truly make the corn your own. We hope these creative tips have inspired you to step up your grilling game and impress your guests at your next barbecue. Keep visiting our website for more mouthwatering recipes and grilling tips. See you soon!
Creative Tips for Perfectly Grilling Corn on the Cob
- 6 ears of corn shucked
- ¼ cup butter softened
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 skewers
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- In a small bowl, mix butter, parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper together.
- Brush each ear of corn with the seasoned butter, making sure to coat all sides.
- Insert a skewer into the base of each ear of corn. This will make it easier to handle on the grill.
- Grill the corn for 8-10 minutes, rotating every couple of minutes, until the kernels are tender and have charred spots.
- Serve the corn with lime wedges for squeezing over the top, and enjoy!